STOP THE MADNESS
Your editorial, "School budget process cries out for understanding" [March 19], was right on the mark.
I sat in the School Board Auditorium with an incredulous look on my face as the School Board debated and ultimately defeated Fran Zimmer-man's proposal to form a District Budget Advisory Committee. Some of the board members even used the recent series of meetings with union leadership to discuss budget matters as an excuse to not form this committee. That's comparing apples and oranges.
What are they afraid of? Are they afraid that the community will have some real input for a change? Are they still so arrogant that they feel that they don't need any advice from the "common" people? When will the madness end?
President, San Diego Education Association
SEX & LAWS
I read your article-about how the San Diego Police Department is cracking down on Internet prostitution-with great interest ["Cover Story," March 19]. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kiarra Williams. I am a 27-year-old independent escort in Durham Region, Ontario, Canada. Your article was posted on one of our local message boards as a warning to traveling escorts, as well as a topic of interest.
I read the whole article thinking that it would be the same typical media response to escorting, but I was very surprised to see this was not the case.
The laws in Canada are much different then in the U.S. The act of prostitution is not illegal in Canada. There are laws against soliciting and running a brothel, and there are laws to help stop pimping as well, but the act itself is not illegal.
We do, however, see the same society rejection. We also still see the same problems with attackers of women in our line of work. I can say that cops will take the report and "do their job," but they make the women feel like it was her fault because she chose this lifestyle.
I have even created my own message board with a bad client list to help other women in this field. Dangerous offenders are blacklisted in this forum, and any escort has access to read or post. Of course, there are rules about posting any kind of information. The main one being, I have to approve all threads about any dangerous client.
Anyways, I just wanted to send this e-mail and express my thanks to you for telling it how it is. You gave many people on both sides of this business the chance to comment, and I found your article a fairly good refection of how things are for us working in the sex industry. I am so use to reading articles that are horribly written that this was a nice change.
ALL THE TRAPPINGS
Open letter to the Miami Companions escort agency:
My name is Oliver Cleary and I am a criminal-defense attorney in San Diego. I just recently read an article titled "Busted.com" in San Diego CityBeat ["Cover Story," March 19].
I must admit I am ashamed, but not surprised, by the conduct described by San Diego Police Sgt. Mark Sullivan as secret law enforcement "patterns" of behavior to cover for Internet fishing expeditions that border on entrapment. These secret "patterns" of behavior often cross the line between legal and illegal police conduct. Sometimes all it takes is an overzealous officer going too far when entrapment occurs. No wonder Sgt. Sullivan doesn't want to discuss it.
In California, it doesn't matter whether the accused is "predisposed" because they work for an escort service, the focus is on law-enforcement conduct-subjective intent or character are not relevant to the determination of the question of whether entrapment occurred.
Don't roll over; it's not as difficult to prove as Sgt. Sullivan would have you believe.
Oliver P. Cleary,
A DIFFERENT VIEW
First of all, belated congratulations on your paper. As a former small-paper journalist myself at the Chula Vista Star-News, I know how much effort it takes to produce a worthy paper. I also wanted to write you to let you know someone is reading your paper. As foolish as it sounds, I remember most of the time, we didn't know if anyone was reading our paper or not!
It's nice to read a local paper that often expresses what many of us are thinking but is not said by the Union-Tribune or other media here. Sometimes your paper doesn't express my point of view, but it gives me a chance to read a different point of view that I hadn't thought of. I appreciate that. In a democratic country with a free exchange of information, you'd think that wouldn't be a problem, but it is.
Regarding the war with Iraq, I usually have to read or listen to Spanish-language media from other countries to get the point of view I get with your paper. CityBeat reminds me of an English-language ZETA, the left wing, anti-establishment paper printed here and distributed in Tijuana. Your paper doesn't often seem to balance the two sides of an issue, but that is precisely why it's very much a welcome addition here in San Diego with the TV, radio and newspapers so blatantly leaning to the right.
I also wanted to say that the article in the March 26 edition titled, "Study in contrast" was a well-written opinion piece ["San Diego Munch"]. Don Bauder's style of journalism will be missed. I think the writer of the piece, Ms. Beak, was somewhat correct in stating Jack Murphy was "toady," but she is wrong to disrespect the honoring of the man. It was his right to "blatantly lobby to bring a football team to town" since, after all, he was an opinion writer and he was writing in the sports section.
Granted, more streets could have been paved with the stadium monies, but that must be weighed with what the stadium has provided us: moments to relax, to enjoy the artistry of sport, to laugh, to cheer and feel community pride. We all need that in our lives, even Ms. Beak. In these trying times, that is more important than ever. She also should not forget that Jack Murphy also had a way with words that few possess, and touched many of us, especially when he wrote about the death of his beloved dog.
Anyway, I hope your paper continues to grow and maintain a place in this city so lacking in diverse views.